Does it ever seem like more men sport beards in November? If so, it’s not your imagination — facial hair peaks in November! And no, they’re not trying to keep their faces warm (though that is likely a bonus) these men are doing their part to raise money and awareness for cancer, specifically testicular cancer.
The Start of No Shave November
According to their official website, “ No-Shave November is a month-long journey during which participants forgo shaving and grooming in order to evoke conversation and raise cancer awareness.”
Each November, men are encouraged to ditch their shaving cream and razors and to let their natural hair “grow wild and free.” The goal? Start a conversation about cancer within a friend or family member, as well as donate the money they would typically spend on grooming products to a cancer research foundation.
If you’re not ready to (or simply can’t) grow a full beard, there are other ways to participate, like sponsoring someone else supporting No Shave November or matching whatever dollar amount they donate throughout the month.
Raising Awareness of Cancers Commonly Found in Men
Though the nonprofit works to raise awareness of all cancers, it originally focused on male-related cancers, specifically:
Prostate cancer: Currently the number one cancer risk for men, roughly 1 in 41 men will die from prostate cancer. Far more will be diagnosed with the disease.
Colorectal cancer: The American Cancer Society estimates 1 in 21 men (and 1 in 23 women) in the United States will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime. It’s currently the third leading cause of cancer death for men (behind prostate and lung).
Bladder cancer: men are currently three times more likely than women to be diagnosed with bladder cancer.
Traditionally, men have not been encouraged to be proactive about their health through check-ups and screenings in the same way women are encouraged t get mammograms. This has led to avoidable late-stage cancer diagnoses. No-Shave November is a lighthearted way to spotlight these critical health issues! Because men are not encouraged to visit their doctor and get cancer screenings in the same way women are encouraged to get mammograms, men tend to be diagnosed at a later stage of cancer.
Early diagnosis is the key to treating cancer and improving your survival rate. Cortland Regional Medical Center is pleased to offer patients and families our Cancer Nurse Navigator. Patient Navigation is a free patient support service in which a specially-trained nurse guides you through the cancer care system.